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Translations of
English six sense bases,
six sense spheres
Pali saḷāyatana
Sanskrit ṣaḍāyatana
Chinese 六入, 六処 (liùrù)
Japanese 六入, 六処
(rōmaji: rokunyū, rokusho)
Korean 육입, 육처
(RR: yuk-yip, yuk-tcher)
Tibetan skye.mched
Vietnamese 六入, 六処 (lục căn)
Glossary of Buddhism
  The 12 Nidānas:  
Name & Form
Six Sense Bases
Old Age & Death

Ṣaḍāyatana (Sanskrit) or saḷāyatana (Pāli) means the six sense bases (Pāli, Skt.: āyatana), that is, the sense organs and their objects.[1] These are:

  1. Eye and Vision
  2. Ear and Hearing
  3. Nose and Olfaction
  4. Tongue and Taste
  5. Skin and Touch
  6. Mind and Thought

That is, in Buddhism, the sixth "internal" and "external" sense bases are: mind (Skt., manas; Pali, mano); and, thought (along with memory and emotion) (Skt., dharma; Pali, dhamma).

Related Buddhist concepts[edit]

Ṣaḍāyatana is the fifth link in the Twelve Nidānas of Pratitya-Samutpada (Dependent Origination) and thus likewise in the fifth position on the Bhavacakra (Wheel of Becoming). Ṣaḍāyatana (Sense Gates) is dependent on Nāmarūpa (Name and Form) as condition before it can exist.

"With Name and Form as condition, Sense Gates arise".

Ṣaḍāyatana is also the prevailing condition for the next condition in the chain, Contact (Sparśa).

"With|Sense Gates as condition, Contact arises".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In the context of the Samyutta Nikaya's chapter entitled Saḷāytana-saṃyutta, Bodhi (2000), defines "saḷāyatana" as simply "six sense bases" (p. 2024) or, implicitly, "the six internal and external sense bases" (p. 1121). Primarily in the context of Conditioned Arising, Kohn (1991), p. 192, defines "Shadāyatana" as "roughly 'six bases or realms'; term referring to the six objects of the sense organs...." Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 699, defines "Saḷāyatana" as "the six organs of sense and the six objects."


  • Bodhi, Bhikkhu (trans.) (2000). The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya. (Part IV is "The Book of the Six Sense Bases (Salayatanavagga)".) Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-331-1.
  • Kohn, Michael H. (trans.) (1991). The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen. Boston:Shambhala. ISBN 0-87773-520-4.
  • Rhys Davids, T.W. & William Stede (eds.) (1921-5). The Pali Text Society’s Pali–English Dictionary. Chipstead: Pali Text Society. A general on-line search engine for the PED is available at Dsal.uchicago.edu
Preceded by
Twelve Nidānas
Succeeded by